It Was an Act of Pure Love by Byrds Fiancee

By Mike RitzOctober 28, 2002, 5:00 pm
PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - Once again, proof that love conquers all. No, no, no - not Davis. But the emotion: True, unabashed, devoted love.
On Sunday at the Buick Challenge, there was PGA Tour rookie Jonathan Byrd battling to capture his first tour title, against the likes of Phil Mickelson and David Toms.
As he stepped to the tee at the par-5 7th hole, Byrd was tied for the lead with Toms, who was one group behind, in the final threesome. Jonathan had birdied No. 7 in two of the previous three rounds. He anticipated another. But he blocked his drive and it was headed right of the fairway, towards some of Pine Mountains towering pines.
Ahhh, then love intervened.
As many wives and lovers are wont to do on the Tour, Byrds fiancee - Amanda Talley - was walking with Jonathan, watching his every shot. Thank goodness for Byrd that Amanda is so devoted. Some 270 yards from the tee, his ball took a hard bounce and struck his fiancee right in the back. A new standard for Stand by your Man.
The ball and Amanda both dropped to the ground ' neither the worse for wear. She righted herself and walked into the woods, hoping not to disturb or distract her man.
I asked the crowd if I had hit anybody, Byrd would later explain, and Amanda said, Yes, it hit me near my shoulder.
He asked her if she was OK. She smiled and said yes. He said thank you and then ' with his fortunate lie now clear to the green ' knocked his next shot onto the surface and two-putted for birdie.
She took one for the team, Jonathan said with obvious pride.
His fortuitous birdie gave Byrd a lead he would never relinquish. Up ahead, Mickelson ' the No. 1 player in the world ' was putting on a back-nine run that would temporarily get him within two strokes of Byrd. But Amandas fiancee would put on a charge of his own and Phil would finish third.
I think having all of these first-time winners all of these great young guys, Mickelson said, is great for our tour.
The 24-year-old Byrd snared the trophy with a Mickelson-like run. Starting on the par-5 11th, Byrd went eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle. Five putts in five holes. Seven-under-par in five holes. Ive never had a stretch like that before, the champ would say.
At the end of that blistering eagle-birdie barrage, Byrd was 28-under par and held a five-stroke lead over Toms. But within minutes, the lead was down to two. As Jonathan made his only bogey of the round on the par-3 16th, Toms was on his way to an eagle of his own on No. 15. A three-stroke swing, the lead down to two.

Toms, the 1999 Buick Challenge champion, missed a 12-footer for birdie on 16, but got one on 17 to cut the lead to just one stroke, shortly after Byrd had finished his round with two pars. Did Jonathan feel any pressure from two greats such as Toms and Mickelson charging towards him?
'No, he answered, I felt like I was always charging them my mind-set was to just keep making birdies.
When Toms missed his 15-foot birdie try on the final hole, Byrd was the winner.
Thats the story of my year, said Toms, I just couldnt scrape in enough putts to win. He has now finished second three times on the 2002 Tour.
Toms did see this coming, though. He met Byrds parents in an elevator at the players hotel at the Honda Classic. I told them, to be patient Jonathan was such a good player, it was only a matter of time before he won, Toms recounted.
So Byrd becomes the record 17th first-time winner on the PGA Tour this year. In so doing, he earns $666,000 and brings his season total to nearly $1.4 million.
The wedding of Jonathan Byrd and Amanda Talley is November 30, just days away. Good timing to earn the 666-grand right now?
Oh yeah, the groom-to-be said. Weddings are expensive.
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Romo turns in even in PGA Tour debut

By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 3:00 pm

After stumbling out of the gates, Tony Romo has found his footing in his PGA Tour debut.

Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies from Nos. 4-8 while playing alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:

Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Romo, who plays to a plus-0.3 handicap, said earlier in the week that he expected some jitters once it came time to put a tee in the ground.

"You'll be nervous on Thursday on the first tee. Just going to be," Romo said. "I've got to get through the first three or four holes. If I can handle the nerves on the first three or four holes, I think that I'll settle in and hopefully just play the way I've been playing."

Click here to watch live first-round action on Golf Channel.

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Kim's missing clubs show up at sporting goods store

By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 1:58 pm

More than a month after they were lost on an American Airlines flight, the clubs I.K. Kim used to win last year's Ricoh Women's British Open turned up on the sale rack of a California sporting goods store.

Kim's clubs became lost in late January when she flew from Miami to San Diego, with the airline suggesting she simply rent a new set. A few weeks later, Kim shot a "What's in the bag" television segment which according to a Golfweek report caught the eye of three good samaritans in the San Diego area.

The three men recognized Kim's clubs for sale at a local Play It Again Sports, with the major winner's tools listed at $60 each. The store even had Kim's tour bag, complete with her LPGA player badge. Kim filmed the reunion with her bag - containing wedges and a few hybrids, minus the head covers - at the Carlsbad police station:

Kim was back in southern California this week for the Kia Classic, where she'll begin play Thursday morning at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.

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New dad Garcia removes shoes, wins match

By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 12:48 am

AUSTIN, Texas – In one of the day’s most explosive matches, Sergio Garcia rolled in an 8-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to defeat Shubhankar Sharma, 1 up, at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

The duo halved just nine holes on Day 1 at Austin Country Club, with Garcia going from 2 up through four holes to 1 down with five holes to play.

But the Spaniard rallied with five birdies over his final eight holes and pushed his record to 20-17-1 in the Match Play. He also gave himself his best chance to advance out of pool play since the format began in 2015.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

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The victory continued what has already been a memorable week for Garcia, whose wife, Angela, gave birth to the couple’s first child last Wednesday.

“I already feel like I’m a winner after what happened on Wednesday,” Garcia said. “Obviously, it's something that we're so, so happy and proud of and enjoying it as much as possible.”

The highlight of Garcia’s round on Wednesday came at the 12th hole when he took a drop on a cart path. After considering his options, he removed his shoes and hit his approach from 212 yards to 29 feet for a two-putt birdie to halve the hole.

“I have spikes. So if I don't take my shoes off, I'm going to slip. It's not the kind of shot that you want to slip,” Garcia said. “I had tried it a couple of times on practice swings and I was already slipping a little bit. So I thought I would just take my shoes off, try to get a little bit in front of the hole and it came out great.”